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Newsletter 1 - March 19, 2011

Dear Patients,

From time to time I will be sending you e-mails with information that can improve your health.  I hope you find this helpful and interesting.  Often we hear about new advances in genetics that imply we have little control over our health; this might leads us to believe that there is little for us to do that will change our genetic fate.  My message to you is that is far from accurate. Our genes play a role in perhaps only 20% of our health destiny.  I think of it this way: our genes are like little factories.  If these factories are being treated with care, and the machines in the factory are well maintained, and high-quality raw ingredients are used in the factory, the products will be superior.  The reverse is likewise true: if we maintain ourselves well, the body responds with graceful aging.  If not, we will quickly decay.

Jack LaLanne died this past January at the age of 96.  His vibrant message was that it's never too late to get in shape.  I recently saw a clip of an interview where he talked about his secret for a long healthy life.  Jack said:  "Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom!".  You might find this article about his life interesting:


A patient of mine recently gave me an interesting book called "Younger Next Year" by Crowley and Lodge (they also wrote "Younger Next Year for Women").  One of the authors is an internist named Henry Lodge and coincidentally he goes by Harry.  The simple advice in the appendix “Harry’s Rules” is consistent with the advice I have been giving for 24 years.  If you follow the rules, it will improve your life.  What I enjoyed most about the book was the biological explanation of the mechanism by which regular exercise improves your health.  Daily exercise increases the production of good cytokines that work against the natural decay of our body.  The metaphors that describe our aging process are memorable, to say the least (hiss…bump….hiss, you have to read the book to appreciate this comment).  This book is worth the time to read and re-read.  Take a look at their website www.YoungerNextYear.com and click on the tab Books.  The message in this book reinforces my daily message to my patients: exercise is truly one of the best medicines.


Feel free to visit my website for other health related information www.HarryOkenMD.com
Wishing you good health,


Harry A. Oken, MD